Police are using social experiments to inspire more people to join their ranks.

As part of their latest recruitment drive, New Zealand Police have produced a series of videos that test the public's response to what officers experience daily.

In the first video released on the NZ Police Recruitment Facebook page, a young boy is shown eating out of a rubbish bin on a busy city street, largely ignored by passers-by.

Some brush him aside as they put their own rubbish in the bin, while one pedestrian is shown taking a photo of the boy on a phone as he scavenges for food.


At the end of the video a group of young women approach the boy to help him.

Police deputy chief executive of public affairs Karen Jones said people like the ones who helped are who the recruitment drive is aimed at.

"We have filmed a series of real-life social experiment scenarios exploring issues our officers deal with daily -- involving the safety of the young and the vulnerable people in our communities.

"We wanted to see how many people would step up to help."

Ms Jones said police are aiming to recruit about 400 new cops this year.

She said the first series of videos featured a young actor eating out of a rubbish bin.

"Some of the responses are thought-provoking, some quite moving," Ms Jones said.

"While the social experiments involved real people, the majority of their faces have been blurred, other than our actor and the people who stopped to take action.

"We did not want to highlight the individuals who walked by, as there may have been very good reasons why someone did not stop to help at that particular time."

She said the campaign will mainly be promoted online and is aimed at people aged 18-29.